Dry eye syndrome or dysfunction of the tear film

Dry eye syndrome symptoms

Dry eye syndrome is a disorder of the ocular surface, caused by multiple factors, featuring a loss of homeostasis of the tear film. It is accompanied by ocular symptoms, where instability and hyperosmolarity of the tear film, inflammation and lesions of the ocular surface and neurosensory anomalies, play an important role in the etiology of the disorder.

Dry eye symptoms are burning, pricking dry eye pain, itching, the sensation that a foreign body is present, dryness, tiredness of the eyes and eyelids, photophobia and blurred vision.

The following anatomical and physiological factors help in dry eye treatment by preserving the surface of the eye:

  • a normal quantity of tear fluid;
  • normal composition of tear fluid;
  • regular blinking to evenly distribute tear fluid.

Tears are therefore very important for avoiding dry eye. As well as having an antibacterial role, tears lubricate the eye surface and protect it from any foreign bodies.

Other factors such as atmospheric and environmental pollution, lifestyle (computer screens), the presence of allergens (i.e. potentially irritating substances) and extended use of contact lenses can reduce the production of tears. Meibomian gland dysfunction with lipid layer deficit can also cause dry eye.

Dry eye treatment

Replacement fluid (artificial tears or dry eye drops) must be used with the following specifications:

  • lubricating action for occasional dry eye (video screens, for example);
  • advanced protective action for dry eye that requires greater hydration;
  • intensive protective action for nocturnal dry eye (e.g.dry eye gel);
  • to tackle lipid layer deficit;
  • to protect all layers of the tear film

Be sure to ask your ophthalmologist for advice.